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‘Irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ ground for divorce: Parliament panel

Panel,however,will not do away with the 6-month waiting period for divorce by mutual consent.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
April 6, 2011 4:12:49 pm

A Bill aimed at making “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” a new ground for divorce has found support from a Parliamentary panel which has however disfavoured doing away with the mandatory six-month waiting period before the annulment of marriage.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice which presented its report in Parliament on the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill,2010 recently,said it favoured the broad objective of the Bill to introduce ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ as a new ground for divorce.

At the same time,the Committee said it is not in favour of “doing away” with the waiting period of six months before moving a joint motion in case of divorce by mutual consent as proposed in the Law Ministry Bill.

“The Committee is of the view that the existing provisions of law for divorce by mutual consent are fair and reasonable and the prevailing cooling off period be retained so as to protect and preserve the institution of marriage,” Committee Chairperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here today.

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She said the Rajya Sabha Committee has also recommended that the government should define the term ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ in the Bill so that some uniform standards are followed by courts in dealing with divorce petitions.

It has also asked defining of the term ‘grave financial hardship’ to “avoid ambiguity”.

It also urged the government to clear its stand with regard to adopted children as mentioned in the Bill which was introduced in the Upper House in August,2010.

The proposed Bill seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and Special Marriage Act of 1954 to allow divorce where there is no scope for reconciliation between the estranged couple.

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